The Colombo Fort Magistrate’s Court today ordered the release of former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabraal and former Secretary to the President Lalith Weeratunge from a private complaint after upholding the preliminary objections raised by the defence challenging the maintainability of the case.
Ven. Thiniyawala Palitha Thera had filed a private plaint over alleged financial irregularities that took place while Cabraal and Weeratunge were serving as the Central Bank Governor and President’s Secretary, respectively, in 2014.
Taking into consideration the preliminary objections raised by the defence, Colombo Fort Magistrate Thilina Gamage ordered the release of Ajith Nivard Cabraal and Lalith Weeratunge from the case. The matter was dismissed accordingly.
This private plaint had been filed by Ven. Thiniyawala Palitha Thera in terms of Section 136(1)(a) of the Code of Criminal Procedure Act.
The petitioner alleged that the Sri Lankan government, when Ajith Nivard Cabral was functioning as the Central Bank Governor in 2014, had paid US$6.5 million through the Central Bank to an American businessman named Imaad Shah Zuberi, who was a CIA mole, to buy influence and fix its image in the US. The petitioner further alleged that the US Court has held that out of the said money given to him on behalf of Sri Lankan taxpayers, US$5.6 million, or 80% of it, had been spent on himself and his wife. The petitioner said former Central Bank Governor Ajith Nivard Cabral has paid the sum of US$6.5 million without prior approval from the parliament or Cabinet of Ministers, in violation of Article 150 of the constitution.